Monthly puja begins at Ayyapa Temple
The five-day monthly rituals (puja) in the Malayalam month of Kumbhom began at the Lord Ayyappa Temple at Sabarimala on Wednesday.
The rituals began with the chief priest (Tantri), Kandararu Rajeevararu, performing the Ganapati homom in the morning followed by Ashtabhishekom and Ushapuja.
An auspicious Laksharchana ritual was performed at the Ayyappa Temple in the forenoon. The Sahasrakalasabhishkom and Kalabhabhishekom were also held at the Ayyappa Temple amidst the Utchapuja. The Tantri, assisted by head priest (Melsanthi), N. Damodaran Potti, performed the Brahmakalasapuja prior to the Utchapuja.
The golden urns carrying Brahmakalasom were taken out in a customary procession, with the accompaniments of the traditional temple percussion and the sacred ‘Marappani’ for performing ‘abhishekom’ to the deity. The sandal paste (kalabhom) offered toe the deity was distributed among the devotees, later.
Padipuja, Pushpabhishekom, and Udayasthamanapuja were the other important rituals performed at the Ayyappa shrine on Wednesday, the first day in the Malayalam month of Kumbhom. The Ayyappa shrine will be closed after the Athazhapuja (the rituals at night) on February 17 evening, marking the culmination of the five-day monthly rituals in the month of Kumbhom.
Pilgrim dies of heart attack
A 57-year-old pilgrim, identified as Ranadheeran M.D., from Dhanbad in Jharkhand, died of heart attack at the Cardiology Centre at Appachimedu on the Pampa-Sannidhanam trekking path on Tuesday evening.
According to Devaswom sources, the Akhila Bharatha Ayyappa Seva Sanghom volunteers shifted the body to Pampa for its transportation to Jharkhand, later.